Val Gardena / Selva

Located in Italy’s Sud Tirol region, the Val Gardena ski area includes the ski resorts of Selva and Santa Cristina, the town of Ortisei and the small ski village of Siusi. Selva is also on the huge Sella Ronda ski circuit whch links several ski resorts, and is famous for its beautiful scenery.

Val Gardena is not actually a ski resort but is one of the names of a very scenic valley in the Dolomites (the other is Groednertal) in which there is both a famous Wold Cup downhill ski race and four linked ski resorts, the largest of which is Selva which is also known as Wolkenstein. Everywhere in this trilingual part of Italy (Italian, German and Ladin) has at least two names.

Selva/Wolkenstein is located near the head of the valley at 1555m in a very picturesque setting beneath the Sassolungo peak. The village itself is now rather elongated, so check where your accommodation is before booking. Slightly lower down at 1430m, and almost joined to Selva, is a smaller resort called Santa Cristina (St Christina). They share a ski area called Ciampinoi but Santa Cristina also has another ski area, called Seceda, which links it to the small market town of Ortisei (St Ulrich) further down the valley at 1235m. And Ortisei also has another ski area, called Alpe de Siusi, which it shares with Siusi (Seis) a small village at 1060m. So there are four resorts and three shared ski areas, all linked together, although you have to decend into the villages and cross them to get from one area to another.

But that's only half the story because Selva is also on the Sella Ronda ski circuit. This is a series of lifts (14km of them) and pistes (28km of them) which enable skiers to circulate in both directions around a huge limestone massif called the Gruppo del Sella, linking Selva to other ski resorts on its edges, such as Arabba, Corvara, Colfosco and Canazei. And in the same way that in Selva you can take a detour off the Sella Ronda circuit to visit Santa Cristina, Ortisei and Siusi, all these other resorts also have back areas which you can explore with yet more villages with ski lifts, such as San Cassiano, La Villa and Badia. And needless to say, everywhere has at least two names. 

So there is a lot of skiing, and most of it is on easy blue and gentle red runs with sumptuous views, passing through attractive villages. There are a few steepish red and black runs at Selva, and a few more on the far side of the Sella Ronda at Arabba, but not enough for skiers who really like challenging slopes. Similarly there are some off-piste itineraries like the Val Medzi but overall the off-piste is very limited: the jagged peaks of the Dolomites are wonderful to look at but hard to ski over.

Val Gardena/Selva Pros & Cons

+ Huge ski area(s)

+ Beautiful scenery

+ Biggest resort & ski area on Sella Ronda

+ Excellent artificial snow-making

- Selva village is very stretched out

- Other villages are away from Sella Ronda

- Limited challenges on-piste and off-piste

Search accommodation in Val Gardena and book online>



Val Gardena Rating

  • Ski Area star rating
  • Snowsure star rating
  • Advanced star rating
  • Intermediates star rating
  • Beginners star rating
  • Ski Lift System star rating
  • Lift Queues star rating
  • Scenery star rating
  • Resort Charm star rating
  • Apres Ski star rating
  • Non-Skiers star rating
  • Getting There star rating

Val Gardena Statistics

  • CountryItaly
  • RegionSud Tirol
  • Base1,150 m
  • Peak2,450 m
  • Elevation1,300 m
  • Beginner30 %
  • Intermediate60 %
  • Advanced10 %
  • Longest Run9 km
  • Cable Cars
  • Funicular
  • Gondolas
  • Chair Lifts37 
  • Surface Lifts36 
  • Riders per hour95,000 

5 Day Snow & Weather Forecast

  • 22nd Sunny 25° 14° Sunny skies New Snow 0cm
  • 23rd Sunny 28° 15° Sunny skies New Snow 0cm
  • 24th Sunny 28° 16° Sunny skies New Snow 0cm
  • 25th ModRainSwrsDay 24° 15° Moderate or heavy rain shower New Snow 0cm
  • 26th ModRainSwrsDay 28° 16° Moderate or heavy rain shower New Snow 0cm

Best Hotels in Val Gardena?